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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 19th May, 2015.

 

Present:  Councillor Mrs. A.J. Moore (Chairman); Councillors A.G. Bennett, Mrs. P Drake, P.G. King, A.G. Powell, G. Roberts and S.T. Wiliam.

 

 

35            APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – 

 

These were received from Councillors P.J. Clarke, G.A. Cox and Mrs. M. Kelly Owen.

 

 

36            ANNOUNCEMENT –

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to welcome Councillor A.G. Bennett to his first meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment).  The Chairman also referred to the recent demonstration of the Vehicle Telemetry System at the Alps depot that morning and thanked the Director and his staff for an excellent presentation and the opportunity afforded to Members. 

 

 

37            APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN –

 

Councillor P.G. King was elected Vice-Chairman for the Municipal year. 

 

 

38            MINUTES – 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 14th April, 2015 be approved as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:

  • Page 1935 – First paragraph, delete the word "unsafe" to read as "difficult"
  • Page 1935 – IP – 16 – First sentence, delete the word "Causeway" to read  as "second road to the Island"; 
  • Page 1935 – IP – 16  same paragraph as above, line 10, delete the word  "anyone"  to read  "the Council"
  • Page 1936 – First paragraph, line 3, "(Ward Members for the area)" add within the brackets (..."at the time this scheme was first envisaged)".

 

39            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

40            REGULATORY AUDIT PLAN 2015 (DVSH) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee was presented with details of the Council’s Regulatory Audit Plan that was produced annually by the Wales Audit Office.  A copy of the Plan was attached at Appendix 1 to the report with the key highlights reported as follows.

  • Certification work would be undertaken on the Council's grant claims and returns as part of the annual financial audit.
  • The Council would be subject to an in-depth Corporate Assessment during 2015/16 (scheduled for February/March).  This was a full review of the Council's capacity and capability to deliver continuous improvement which was undertaken once every four years by the Auditor General Wales in addition to the annual 'light touch' review.
  • Local government specific work was planned on the approach of councils to income generation and charging for services, council funding for third sector services and the effectiveness of local community safety partnerships.
  • A number of national value for money studies had been programmed to take place during the year including, picture of public services, regional education consortia, regeneration investment funding for Wales, flood and erosion risk management (focus on coastal flooding).  These studies were funded by the National Assembly and presented to the National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee to support its scrutiny of public expenditure.  Where relevant, local authorities would be required to provide evidence as part of the data gathering process.

The Regulatory Audit Plan was a product of negotiation between the Council's Relationship Manager and other regulators of various services and was informed by a consideration of the risks and challenges facing the Council, audit and inspection knowledge and the Council's own mechanisms for review and evaluation.

 

In considering the Plan, the Director of Visible Services and Housing advised that there were three main themes to the Plan – Financial Audit, Grants, Claims and Returns and Performance Audit.  The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer advised that the Regulatory Plan together with the Cabinet Forward Work Programme and the Council’s Corporate Plan would inform the Committee’s work programme and that in response to the recommendations following an audit by the Wales Audit Office all-Wales Scrutiny Improvement Study, a draft Action Plan had been developed.  The Draft Action Plan had been reported to the Democratic Services Committee and the Scrutiny Committees’ Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group and following informal discussions with Cabinet Members by the Head of Democratic Services, a joint workshop with Cabinet Members and the Scrutiny Committees’ Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen Group was to be arranged.  It had been considered that the workshop would take place some time in July 2015 with Members being informed of the date as soon as possible.

 

Following consideration of the report and with Members being aware that an in-depth corporate assessment was due to be undertaken in 2016 it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the Regulatory Audit Plan 2015 be accepted.

 

(2)       T H A T the contents of the Regulatory Audit Plan 2015 be considered when the Committee’s annual work programme was being developed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order that the Regulatory work programme can be progressed and to ensure that robust scrutiny of the Regulatory Audit Plan takes place.

 

(2)       To align the work programme of the Committee to the Annual Regulatory Audit and inspection work programme.

 

 

41            SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2015/16 (MD) –

 

The report advised on progress in relation to Scrutiny Committee recommendations (Appendices A and B) and detailed the updated work programme schedule for committees consideration at Appendix C to the report.

 

In referring to the training sessions for all Members in respect of contract monitoring and Section 106 Legal Agreements, it was noted that as soon as the dates were agreed Members would be advised accordingly. 

 

With regard to the recommendations from 14th April 2015, Traffic Management Task and Finish Group progress report these had been referred to Cabinet for its consideration at its meeting on 1st June 2015.  However, the Chairman informed Members that with regard to actions 14 and 15 of the implementation plan, i.e. the road improvement scheme actions at the Merrie Harrier / Llandough and the bus lane, she had been advised that it was the Department’s intention to apply for a grant to undertake a VISIM (a user friendly graphical simulation tool for performance analysis of mobile ad-hoc network [MANET] routing protocols) traffic model. It was then the intention to engage consultants who would then provide a detailed presentation to Cabinet with a recommendation to the Scrutiny Committee on suggested proposals.  Such a presentation it was anticipated would take place in time for the July meeting, with the request therefore that the work programme schedule be amended to reflect this.

 

In referring to future reports that were to be scheduled for consideration by the Committee a number of questions were raised as detailed below:

  • Street lighting and XFOR reports – The Vice-Chairman stated that he was concerned about the delay in dealing with these service issues as the savings required may not be realised in time.  The Director of Visible Services and Housing advised that the street lighting scheme had taken longer than he had initially envisaged.  However, he could confirm that a small team had been established which involved consultants undertaking risk assessments of the various projects.  The Director anticipated that the risk assessments would be completed within the next few weeks and that the plans would then be circulated to all Elected Members for consultation and discussions.  For Members information the Director also advised that the  Prosiect Gwyrdd savings which had originally been estimated as £900,000 was currently being anticipated to realise savings of £1.6m; 
  • Car parking charges – A consultant had recently been engaged to consider price sensitivity issues for local traders.  Following a request by a Member that off-street parking charges should be extended to include on-street parking charges the Director stated his intention to include this as a consideration for Members in due course; 
  • Dog Fouling – A number of Members referred to the continued issue of dog fouling in and around the Vale with reference being made to a recent English Council initiate whereby consideration was being given to DNA testing of dog faeces. The Director agreed to consider the matter when preparing the report for Cabinet on dog control orders.  However, as this would require dogs to be registered Members asked that the Democratic Services officer enquires with the legal department as to the options which would be available to the Council if considering a registration scheme for dogs.  Members also stated that in their opinion for such types of initiatives to be successful enforcement was key although aware that this would have implications for the Council.  It was also considered essential that awareness be regularly raised within schools on the consequences of dog fouling, particularly on playing fields; 
  • Civil parking enforcement – The Director agreed to submit a report to Committee in due course;
  • Bring sites – Following a query as to whether the bring sites were being abused and whether fly tipping had increased, Members were informed that, in general, the changes had been very positive with the Department receiving more positive comments than negative ones; 
  • Cardiff Airport progress update – The Managing Director of Cardiff Airport had confirmed that she would attend the Scrutiny Committee on 1st September 2015 to provide a presentation  on progress at the airport to date; 
  • Ship Hill – In referring to the works currently being undertaken the Director advised that it was hoped that these would be completed by 12th June 2015, and that feedback to date had been positive;
  • Second road to Barry Island – Following a query from a Member, the Director stated that the developer was advising that December 2015 was now the anticipated date as significant works  needed to be undertaken;
  • Trinity Street traffic management trial – The Director advised that it was difficult to assess the outcome at present as it was too early in the trial however, he could confirm there had been no accidents to date and that positive comments had been received from parents attending two schools. Following consideration of the evidence reports would be presented to Cabinet and the Scrutiny Committee;
  • Vehicle Telemetry System demonstration – As this had taken place on the morning of Committee the item was agreed to be deleted from the work programme.

Having fully considered the report and the responses detailed above, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the recommendations as detailed below be accepted as completed.

 

10 March 2015

Min. No. 969 - Revised Waste Management and Cleansing Charging Arrangements (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That further consideration by Cabinet be given to establishing CCTV cameras on the Council’s remaining collection sites and that clauses in contracts be considered for enforcement as outlined above.

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 27th April 2015, noted the contents of the report and resolved that the Director of Visible Services and Housing and the Head of Legal Services consider the request of the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) to establish CCTV cameras on the Council’s remaining collection sites and report back to Cabinet if necessary.

(Min No C2741 refers)

Completed

24 March 2015

Min. No. 1059 – Section 106 Legal Agreements – Protocol for Consultation on Implementation of Spend (REF) – Recommended

(3)   That the contents of the report be noted and the recommendations of the Committee forwarded to Cabinet for information.

 

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 27th April 2015, noted the contents of the report.

(Min No C2742 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 1060 – Publication of Revised Welsh Government Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies (2015) (REF) – Recommended - that Cabinet be requested to consider undertaking discussions with other local authorities with a view to conducting a judicial review in respect of the TAN 1 guidance. 

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 27th April, noted the contents of the report and confirmed that, as the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration had written to the Minister, the Recommendation from the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) would not be acceded to.

(Min. No. C2740 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 1064 – Vale of Glamorgan Destination Action Plan (2014-2017): Feedback from Consultation Exercise and Final Destination Action Plan (As Amended) (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That an overall report on regeneration across the Vale be brought to a future meeting of the Committee to apprise Members and consider the impact of regeneration on other areas in the Vale.

 

 

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

14 April 2015

Min. No. 1092 – Traffic Management Task and Finish Group of the Scrutiny Committee – Update on Actions Undertaken (DDS and DHVS) – Recommended

(2)   That a further update on the delivery of the Implementation Plan be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in April 2016.

 

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 1093 – Leisure Management Contract (DDS) – Recommended

(4)   That a year three performance report by Parkwood Community Leisure (Legacy Leisure) be presented to the Scrutiny Committee later in 2015.

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 1094 – Barry Island Regeneration and Enhancement Programme and Beach Huts Policy (DDS) – Recommended

(2)   That a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee regarding the operational management of the Eastern Promenade beach huts following the first season’s pilot operation.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 1095 – Barry Communities First Cluster Progress Report (DDS) – Recommended

(2)   That an update report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee on an annual basis, as appropriate.

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 1096 – Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Work Programme Schedule 2015/16 (DR) – Recommended

(4)   That it be noted that a live demonstration for Members of the Scrutiny Committee regarding the vehicle telemetry system had been arranged for Tuesday 19th May, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. with Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) being invited to attend.

(5)   That the work programme schedule be amended and uploaded to the Council’s website as appropriate.

 

 

 

(4)     Demonstration arranged for Tuesday, 19th May at 11.00 a.m.

Completed

 

 

 

 

(5)     Work programme schedule amended and uploaded to the Council’s website on 12th April 2015.

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the work programme be amended to include the changes as discussed as above at the meeting, that the Vehicle Telemetry demonstration be deleted from the scheduled list and that the updated work programme be uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In view of the Committee’s monitoring and scrutinising role.

 

(2)       In light of the discussion at the meeting and in order that the work programme can be uploaded to the Council’s website. 

 

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